Can the aunt of my niece and nephew receive custody if the parents are unfit? 26 Answers as of July 02, 2013

Can I the aunt of my 2 and 3 year old niece and nephew receive custody of them due to child endangerment by both parents? What are my chances? I do not take care of them either but want to.

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Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
Usually cases like yours goes to Children Court. There they will have social workers if you don't have one already. The case will determine who should raise the child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/26/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Yes, if you can prove them unfit.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/26/2012
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
Do you have any witnesses. How strong would their testimony be and how willing are they to come forward? Do you have photographic,video, audio or other type of evidence.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/2/2013
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
Any relative can petition the court for a guardianship and show why the parents are unfit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2012
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
Yes, a court can place a child with a non-parent relative if both parents are unfit. The aunt can probably file suit to do this.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/23/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    If both parents are unfit and the Court determines that you are a fit and suitable person to have custody of the children it is possible that the Court will award you custody of the children. I cannot tell you what your chances are because I do not have enough information. If you know of facts which would show that the parents are endangering the children as your message states, I advise you to immediately call the Mississippi Department of Human Services and report it.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You must prove the children are dependent and the parents are unfit.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    Yes she can. Your chances depend on what parenting factors you are able to present to the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    This question depends on how the case is initiated. If the niece and nephew have already filed against one another in a custody dispute, a third party may intervene if custody to either parent "will cause substantial harm" to the children. The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, but a showing of causing "substantial harm" may be difficult to overcome. If the family is not already in litigation, an outside party may not have standing to file a claim unless the children have already been living with them. At that point, child protective services would have to be contacted and would have to attempt to remove the children from the home. At that point a relative could seek to be a "relative placement" for the children, as opposed to their living with a random foster parent selected by the state.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Need Juvenile court to intervene and then place children with you until the parents get straightened out if they ever do.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    It is possible to have third-party custody of nieces and nephews. If the Family Services Division is involved because the children are deemed to be in need of services, the children will likely be placed with family members who are willing and able to care for them. Otherwise, Guardianship is available where the children are in need of a guardian because their parents are unavailable, unwilling, or unable to care for them. Another option is third-party custody, which involves petitioning the family court for custody. This would involve presenting evidence which could lead to the court's finding that the parents are unable or unfit to properly care for the children, and that it would be in the children's best interests to be placed in the petitioner's custody.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Custody issues can be very complex; and much more information is necessary in order to evaluate the issue. You should consult with a domestic law specialist in the county in which you reside.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You can petition for guardianship of the children. You should consult a family law attorney to go over the steps necessary to pursue the guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The simple answer is yes, it "can" happen. Whether or not it "will" happen depends on the overall situation and that cannot be answered without much more information about the overall situation. In Colorado, if the aunt has not had physical responsibility for care of the children continuously for the past 6 months, the only way she could end up with custody is if the child protective services office of the DHS steps in and concludes that the children are endangered by the current situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If both parents are proven to be dangerous to the child or children it is possible for an aunt, grandparent, or other relative of the children to be made their guardian and have physical custody of them. All of the circumstances need to be taken into account, and it is certainly not an easy case given the fact that the presumption is that the biological parents, provided they are not actually harmful, have parents rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, any family can seek guardianship if the parents are not fit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    You would have to file a third party custody Petition but in order to do so, the children have to be living with you rather than the parents. Absent that circumstance, there is no way to determine if enough evidence exists to prove the case. Please consult with a local family law attorney. It is by no mean easy to prove that a parent is unfit.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    If DYFS approves these people, they could be named as guardians for the child.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    The Law Offices of Jill Puertas LLC | Jill Puertas
    If there is child endangerment, family services through the state should intervene. They will look to placement with a family member prior to going to permanent foster placement.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You can file for custody with the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey at the county courthouse where the children reside.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You will have to prove the parents are unfit and that it's best for the children o be with you. How good is your evidence? That will determine your chances.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Yes, you may be able to get custody. It will depend on what the Judge thinks is best for the children. I am sorry to hear of your situation, but this is so very common. The kids need you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    If a Court finds that parents are unfit, the Court will usually turn to family member for custody. The standard is what is in the best interest of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    No one can estimate the chances, and certainly not from a short statement about the case. You may file for custody of the children. You should consider filing a Dependency Petition in the juvenile court, if the parents are unable or unwilling to provide proper and effective parental care and control of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/23/2012
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